Chapter Thirty-Eight: Pangs of Guilt
Gresha opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling. She felt a weight on her hand and looked down to find Leih sitting in the chair next to her bed, his head resting on her bed and his hand laying over hers. She turned her hand over and laced her fingers with his.
“Good to see you awake, Sister.”
Gresha looked up and smiled at her brother. “How long have I been out?”
“A couple of days.” He said as he walked to the other side of the bed and pulled out a couple of devices, then checked her over with a grin on his face. “You have talented babies.”
She moved her other hand to her stomach, a smile on her face. “What happened?”
“That crazy doctor cut you open and took one of the twins out,” Pilar said as he watched her face.
She frowned as her hand pausing over her stomach. Pilar laid his hand over top of hers.
“Matrios saved the ball.”
“Matrios?” She asked as she looked from her stomach up to her brother’s face.
Pilar told his sister what had happened while she was unconscious. She shivered as she shook her head. Matrios hadn’t gotten to her in perfect timing, but at least she and the babies are alive.
Gresha turned her head and looked at the door and smiled at her father. “Hi, Daddy.”
Gio moved into the room and stood behind his nephew. “How are you feeling?”
“Like I was cut open and dragged around like a rag doll.”
Gio laughed softly. “Understandable.” He said as he looked down at his nephew. “He hasn’t left your side.”
“He sleeps and eats here,” Pilar said with a nod.
Gresha felt Leih’s hand curl around her fingers and smiled.
“I’m not asleep, now.” He grumbled as he lifted his head and looked at his wife. “Hi, Short Stack.”
“Hi.” She said with a loving smile.
“You gave us a scare after Pilar, and I replaced your blood.” He said as he watched her.
“As I said, her body just needed time to heal,” Pilar said as he set his instruments down. “You’re all clear, no lasting damage to you or the babies.”
“Thank the Gods.” She said with a smile as she continued to look at her husband.
“I think we can leave these two alone,” Pilar said with a laugh as he headed for the door. “Please wait until I’m out of here, Cousin.” He grumbled as he opened the door.
Leih laughed as he leaned forward and kissed his wife.
“Good Lord, Sister, you’re just as bad as Mom,” Pilar grumbled as he left the room.
Gresha looked into her husband’s eyes as he backed away from the kiss.
“How did you find us?” She asked as she watched his eyes stare at her.
“One of our new Earth friends.” He said with a smile. “He contacted us, then found you.”
“Is he the one who placed the ball back inside me?” She asked as she watched him.
“Yeah.” He said with a nod. “Matrios picked it up when he found it on the floor.”
“How is Matrios?”
“Depressed,” Leih said as he shook his head.
“He probably blames himself that he didn’t get to me fast enough.” She said with a frown. “But I think Gretta and I timed it a little off. It’s not his fault. I woke up when they were placing me onto the table. They noticed my breathing had changed and knocked me out again before I was even coherent enough to summon my mist.”
“You turned back time?” He asked as he watched her frown at the memory.
“Yes.” She said with a nod.
“Explains why he has been moping around.” He said with a nod.
She laid her hand on her stomach and took a deep breath. “I guess one of our little ones has the power to heal.” She said with a smile.
“Takes after their mother.” He said with a grin.
“Why did that doctor help me?” She asked as she looked from her stomach to her husband’s face.
Leih sighed as he told her about the broadcast. Gresha sucked in a shocked breath.
“Won’t they come after us now?”
“With what?” He asked with a laugh. “Humans aren’t developed enough to do anything yet.”
“Right.” She said with a nod.
“Now get some sleep. Soon I can take you home and you can relax there.” He said, then kissed her.
“In the back yard.” She said with a yawn.
“As you wish, princess.”
Leih carried Gresha into the back yard of their suite and set her in one of the chairs. She smiled up at him as he backed away. She looked out into the forest with a worried look on her face. Matrios hasn’t come out of the forest since they had returned from Earth.
“Matrios!” She hollered as loud as she could, without hurting herself.
A loud crash came from within the forest. They watched as the large beast came barreling towards them. Gresha laughed as he skidded to a stop inches from smashing into her.
The whisper in her mind was almost a whimper. She reached out and touched his nose.
“I hear you have been moping around.” She said as she scratched the top of his large nose.
‘I didn’t get to you fast enough.’
“That wasn’t your fault.” She said as she shook her head. “Gretta and I must have had the timing off. But you still saved us.” She said with a smile.
‘I almost lost one of your babies…’
“No, you saved my baby.” She corrected as she pulled his head closer to her and laid her forehead against and closed her eyes. “I couldn’t have done it without you.” She whispered.
‘I failed you.’
She heard him whimper and wrapped her arms around his head. “You didn’t.” She said as she shook her head. “You did exactly what I asked you to do. No more, pity party.” She said with a laugh.
He blew air from his nose, which made her hair fly out behind her. She laughed as she held him tight. They spent the rest of the day together, just sitting there, talking and holding each other.
When it got late, Leih had to pull his wife away from her Snoggle and carried her to bed. Matrios moved over to the back door and laid down on the grass, not willing to be too far from his princess, not just yet.
Justaine watched as the High Princess sat on a bench in the park and watched her little sister and the Snoggle, play in the pond. Her hands laid over her stomach as though she was protecting them.
He took a deep breath, then took a few steps towards her. He sees now, that she was never meant to be his. He stopped beside the bench, afraid of what she was going to say when she noticed him standing there, staring at her.
Gresha sensed his presence before she turned and looked at him. He looked so sad, she felt sorry for him. He had made up for some of what he had done here, by helping her family rescue her without it being about him.
“Do you need something?” She asked as she watched him.
“I came to say, I’m sorry.” He whispered as he watched her.
“I was told everything.” She said as she continued to watch him. “As were you.”
“Yes.” He said with a nod.
“If you plan to make it up to me, you can start by not looking like that.” She said as she turned her attention back to the pond.
“Yes, princess.” He said with a bow.
“It’s in your voice.” She said without looking at him.
“I can’t help it.” He said as he sat next to her on the bench.
“Sure, you can. Don’t think about it.” She said with a smile.
He sighed as he leaned back on the bench. “Easy for you to say.” He mumbled.
“Much easier to say, then to do.” She said with a nod.
“Are you trying to confuse me?” He asked as he eyed the back of her head.
“Of course not.” She said with a soft laugh.
“I really am sorry.” He said as he leaned forward on his knees.
“It wasn’t you.” She said as she turned to look at him.
“I know, but it was…”
“You can’t take the responsibility for your parents, if we did, everyone would be in trouble.” She said with a laugh. “Look at Leih.”
“Good point.” He said with a grin. “Do you accept my apology, then?”
“If you’re sincere.” She said with a nod.
“Oh yes, very much so.” He assured her with a nod.
“Then, I accept.” She said as she turned her head back to the pond.
Her sister and the Snoggle walked out of the pond soaking wet, Nahla fell to the grass on her back giggling and Matrios shook the water off his body, spraying it all over Nahla as she laid under him. She laughed loudly as she jumped to her feet and gave the Snoggle a playful shove, then ran from him. Matrios growled playfully as he chased after her.
“They look happy,” Justaine said as he watched them.
“They do, don’t they,” Gresha said with a smile as she turned to look at him again. “The wedding is set for this weekend, are we going to have a problem?”
“No.” He said as he shook his head. “Tamhas and Psyanne keep all phones away from me. I haven’t had the urge to call my father in several days now.”
“Good,” Gresha said with a nod as she turned back to watch Matrios and her sister.
Matrios picked her sister up by her britches and carried her over to where Gresha sat on the bench. Gresha laughed as he laid her on the ground at her feet. Nahla was laughing so hard she couldn’t stand.
“Time to go home,” Gresha said as she helped her sister to her feet.
“Awe,” Nahla said with a frown.
“I’m getting tired,” Gresha said as she smiled at her little sister.
“Okay,” Nahla said with a nod.
Gresha tried to get to her feet and fell back onto the bench as a sharp pain ran up her spine. “No.” She breathed, fear in her voice.
“What is it?” Justaine asked as he got to his feet.
“The babies,” Gresha said as she breathed heavily.
“Oh no,” Nahla said as she wrapped her arms around her sister’s large stomach.
‘Are they okay?’
Gresha looked at Matrios. “I don’t know. Go get Pilar.”
Matrios shook his body then took off so fast all they saw was a blur.
“Can I help?” Justaine asked with fear in his eyes.
“No.” She said as she shook her head. “If I move, I think they will fall out.” She screamed as pain shot through her body.
“Sister.” Nahla cried as she held onto her.
“Go…” She said as she took a deep breath and tried again. “Go get Leih.” She said as she looked at Justaine. “And take my sister to my mother.”
“No!” Nahla screamed as Justaine took hold of her to pull her off her sister.
His eyes became large as saucer as he jumped back away from the small girl. Nahla looked behind her at him with a scared look on her face.
“I’ll take her,” Psyanne said as she walked out from behind a bush.
“Sister,” Justaine said as he looked at his sister, an accusing look on his face.
“Don’t look at me like that. You know we’re watching your every move.” She said as she lifted a screaming Nahla into her arms. “Watch Gresha, make sure nothing happens to her.”
“Of course,” Justaine said with a nod as he sat on the bench.
“What happened when you touched my sister?” Gresha asked as she tried to find something to talk about, to keep her mind off the pain.
“I don’t know.” He said as he shook his head. “I guess I still have some electricity in me from using so much of it the other day when we rescued you.”
“Maybe.” She said as she eyed him. A pain shot through her and she screamed again.
“Gresha!” Pilar hollered as he jumped off Matrios’ back. “Matrios kept whimpering and laying down until I realized he wanted me to climb onto his back. What happened?” He asked as he glared at Justaine.
“I think I’m in labor.” She cried out as another pain shot through her body.
“Oh.” He said with relief. When he had heard her scream, he had thought Justaine had done something to her. And why can’t he hear her thoughts?
“I think it’s the babies.” She said as she sucked in a deep breath.
“Um, I didn’t say that out loud,” Pilar said as he stared at his sister.
“Great, my kids gave me your gift.” She grumbled as another pain had her screaming again. She moved her legs up onto the bench and pushed Justaine onto the ground. “Sorry.” She cried out.
“It’s okay,” Justaine said as he got to his feet.
“They’re coming!” Gresha screamed as she pulled on her bother’s pant leg.
“I can’t do this.” He said as he shook his head.
“You have to!” She cried.
“No!” Gresha and Pilar said at the same time as they looked at him.
“Sorry, just trying to help.” He said as he backed away from them.
“You can help,” Pilar said as he looked over at Matrios. “Matrios, take Justaine to Dr. Bengiene, so he can talk for you. Then come back here with Dr. Bengiene.”
Matrios nodded, then nudged Justaine to get onto his back.